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Solar Off the Roof at the New Museum’s IDEAS CITY StreetFest

MG1A1126We had a great time at the New Museum’s IDEAS CITY StreetFest this past Saturday. We were demonstrating off-the-roof solar projects and giving kids hands-on lessons in the science behind solar photovoltaics: Photons knock electrons in the silicon panels loose, which starts up a negative electric current. That current flows through the wires embedded in the panel ┬áto power a small motor. If you put it in the sun, the motor spins a rotor; if you block the sun, it stops. Light makes it go!

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We also demonstrated some small solar chargers from Voltaic Systems and Goal Zero.

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And we were honored by the lovely urban garden and estuary creatures from the Earth Celebrations Hudson River Pageant!

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We were particularly delighted by the Oyster…

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All in all, a gorgeous day and a wonderful StreetFest. We also enjoyed visiting with our friends at Fourth Arts Block, they had a great exhibit of sound sculptures made from recycled materials. They’re a little hard to see in this photo, but they were super-cool:

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Fabric sculpture by Amanda Browder, be sure to check out the project she’s doing with FAB this summer.